Travel Like a Pro and Save Money!


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Hello fellow globetrotters,

I am an avid traveller and I have learnt a fair few tips along my journeys. I am going to share those tips with you and hopefully you can travel like a pro, save money, have better holidays and reap the rewards!

My first tip is, work out the exchange rate for wherever you’re traveling to and budget in advance. Work out the likes of where you are staying i.e. budget, mid-price or high-end accommodation and how much this will cost you per night. Perhaps you will stay a few nights budget, a few nights mid-price and so on…

Once you have worked out the cost of your accommodation, subtract it from your overall budget and keep that aside. Next up, work out the price of the average meal and drinks per day. Just to give yourself an idea of the expenditure there. Add on a few extra quid to round it up as it is merely a guide.

Now that you have worked out the food, drinks and accommodation budget, you are left with your spending money for activities, excursions, traveling around, souvenirs and general costs. Suss out what you want to see and do and add up the cost of those activities. That way you can decide whether they are worth doing. You can always decide when you get there of course but this is just an idea of the amount you are going to spend.


Once you have set aside that money you can go ahead and add up the whole lot. That is what you are going to spend on average, however it is really only giving you an estimate as plans don’t always go to plan and you will no doubt be spontaneous as you are indeed on holidays. So use this as a simple estimate and make sure you have a contingency fund in case of emergencies and to be on the safe side. Anything can happen, it is Murphy’s law!

Book your flights online if you really want to save money. Skyscanner, Kayak, Webjet, ITA Matrix and Airfare Watchdog are a few worth checking. Another tip is to check on airlines main site when you find the good deal. Often it is there you will cut out the middle man again and get the cheaper flight direct. However, this is not always the case but worth a check.

Go ahead and book online or over the phone. If you are confident in not making a balls of it that is! If you have connecting flights you may feel less confident about it. But by cutting out the middle man, i.e. a travel agent you can save yourself the cost. If you’re not confident then go ahead and ask a travel agent, as you don’t need more stress. Make sure and find the best deal by visiting all the relevant travel agents, online or in person if you do decide to go with one.


At the same time, book your travel insurance. You can find these insurance companies online so do a background check to make sure they are reputable and make sure you cover yourself for the important stuff, such as injury, illness, luggage and contents. You do not want the nightmare of having to fork out for these yourself if the worst happens. Shop around for a good deal as there are plenty to choose from.

If you are planning in advance, sign up for airfare alerts with the websites you are dealing with for the cheapest flights. That way, you will be notified in plenty of time to pounce on that cheaper flight when it becomes available! Travel agents are good for contacting you as soon as they find a cheap deal so worth leaving your name and number with them once they are reasonably priced but ask if there are others waiting in line ahead of you in case. If there are a list of others waiting on the same deal or flights you are better off trying elsewhere at the same time. There is no harm in staying on the list as you can be lucky. Travel agents work with airlines daily so they will get better deals sometimes but it is still worth doing your own research to make sure it is not cheaper on the main site of the airline. Never know!

Do your research via the different airports and routes as certain airports are cheaper to refuel for the airlines or are known as gateway airports where they are busy and work out cheaper to stopover. When you are doing stopovers do check all possible routes for the cheapest but do keep in mind the stopover times and calculate whether you will need to spend on extra accommodation, food and other things while there. It all adds up so check before pouncing.


Sign up for the airlines air miles program as soon as you possibly can and start saving the air miles. Always register for those air miles!!! If you go on a short or long haul flight it is worth it since you will probably travel again and if you use the same airline, you can save money on flights, get a free flight, upgrades and even free hotels and accommodation with those air miles points. Always sign up for the air miles and keep a record somewhere in your saved emails for future reference. One of the best ways to travel like a pro and save money!

Some shops and supermarkets with card loyalty programs even offer you to transfer those points to air miles if they are affiliated with an airline. You normally need to decide in advance whether you prefer store coupons with your loyalty rewards or else prefer to gain air miles. They will ask you when you sign up so if you know in advance you can get more air miles and therefore save more money!

If you have a long time to plan your trip, and are ok with handling a credit card without spending, I would recommend signing up for American Express. Reason being, when you use their card, you can gain air miles and other perks. Not everywhere accepts this card payment but a lot of places do, especially accommodation like hotels, golf clubs, shopping centers and places you may be already spending. That way, it pays off when it comes to holiday time. When you have racked up the air miles, you will save money on flights or even get a free one, can get upgraded and even stay in luxury hotels for free!!!


Next up, for the savvy globetrotter who stays in hotels often, like at the airport and the odd night here and there, I would sign up for the loyalty card program. That way, when you stay there, you rack up loyalty points. Obviously, over time you will get rewards, upgrades and even free nights accommodation! Some of the hotel chains are all over the world so you can locate them easily and gain your points no problems!

Air BnB can be a great way to stay in nice accommodation for a knock-down price. Off-peak times especially and in general you can be lucky. Compare prices to find the best value. is a great price comparison website where you can find luxury accommodation right down to the cheapest. It is an easy way to calculate by price and room type, location etc as all the details are listed and you can key in your own preferences to make it easier. However, not all accommodation is listed so it is still worth searching manually online.

If you are not worried about rooms being booked out in a specific area you happen to be staying, then by all means arrive and make your way directly to your chosen accommodation and ask for the best price directly and in person. Sometimes the hotel will give you a better price if they have spare rooms and want them filled. Never know!


When booking online a hotel, ask for a room with a view or poolside, whatever your preference would be. There is normally a section for requests or special requests. That way you will have first grabs and they will want you to be impressed so fill in that section for best results. If you are in any way unhappy with your room on arrival, complain immediately but in a friendly and personable way. In most cases, you will be upgraded to a better room.

If you are staying in hostels, ask for a backpackers discount card as soon as you start your travels. This will definitely pay for itself even though you may not think so at the time. I mistakenly didn’t get the card and could have saved myself double the cost of the card until I realized a couple of weeks in. Most hostels have a card program and you can always check online prior to booking in order to save a few quid per night etc.

If you are staying in a hostel for a week or more, ask about a discount for the weekly stay. A lot of backpackers stay long term and pay a discounted rate per week. Definitely worth checking out although not all hostels will let you book for that long. Air BnB also often do cheaper rates for a longer stay so worth checking out.


If you’re staying in a hotel or similar, bring your own snacks from the supermarket a and save money on hotel snack prices from the machines and bring your own drinks to save money. The hotel bars are usually ridiculously overpriced as you probably know. Room service for a sandwich can be as costly as a lunch in a restaurant so worth keeping in mind before checking in or before the shops close in the evening.

Bring a picnic with you when going on a day trip, to the beach or on an excursion. You will save money and still enjoy yummy food in a scenic place. Just as nice as a snack in a restaurant but at a fraction of the cost.

Launder your clothes yourself by staying in accommodation with laundry facilities. Sometimes you can find launderettes or machines that are coin operated in towns and shopping areas so keep an eye out and you can save on the cost of professional laundry services if you need your clothes washed. Otherwise you can wash them in the sink and leave them to dry in the sun or on radiators. If you’re staying somewhere like Thailand then it is cheap to have someone launder your clothes but rather than the hotels, find a service on the street where it is even cheaper.

If staying in a hostel or self contained accommodation than you can cook for yourself by shopping at the supermarket or markets which will save you money. You can check out online sites for cheap deals on restaurants if you want to eat out. GrabOne and Living Social are a couple that are available in various countries around the world. Also check out the hotel deals and experiences as there are some amazing savings to be had. Best to book nearer the time and book ahead if possible to avoid disappointment and keep an eye on the expiry dates.


If you need to buy travel goods, clothes or electrics for your holiday, I recommend checking the exchange rate and comparing prices for those countries to see if the things you need will be cheaper there. I usually wait till I get where I’m on holidays to buy clothes for instance as they are normally cheaper and more unique, plus its fun to shop on hols and the clothes are then souvenirs too. As for electrical goods, if you don’t mind using a travel adapter then it can save you a lot to wait until you’re there. Keep the receipts too in case you need them for insurance purposes. Of course, toiletries such as makeup, perfume and cosmetics can be cheaper Duty Free and they will let you take those extra liquids.

If you’re a smoker, drinker or chocolate lover, the same applies for Duty Free. Make sure you stick to the permitted limit so as not to break the rules and get a fine. That includes any alcohol and cigarettes/cigars you have in your luggage.

I always recommend traveling light, however I do often get carried away and bring too much stuff. I know its hard to narrow it down but you will need extra space for items you pick up along the way. Leave a good amount of space in your case, backpack or carry-on as you don’t want to pay any extra weight costs or be laden down with bags.

Often times, they have discount cards available in areas where there are a lot of sightseeing and museums that have an entry fee. Sometimes they give these cards free or for a small fee. Worth getting if you are planning on seeing multiple fee paying sights. There are sometimes books you can get with coupons attached for discounts and even check the back of your supermarket receipts for these coupons to save money.

Booking online for certain excursions, museums and sights can save you money, time and queuing. It is worth doing everything online if possible. I have experienced skipping the queue and many other hassles on top of money saving from booking online. Make sure to bring proof of purchase as stated on the site, such as printed tickets, receipt numbers, scan codes or booking reference. Charge your phone up if you are going to need it for this.

book online

House sitting or house swapping are a big thing nowadays. You can sign up to be a house sitter on Trusted Housesitters or various different ones by paying an annual fee. Some expect you to water the plants or feed the animals and you get to stay in the house for free! A great way to save money and enjoy your own place with all the facilities for a little work. House swapping would involve you swapping houses with someone in your chosen destination.

Sites that offer work for accommodation are a great way to get free accommodation in exchange for a bit of work such as cleaning, gardening, child-minding, feeding animals or building and renovation for instance. I did a few of these jobs when traveling as a backpacker in New Zealand and they were brilliant for saving money as they are usually only a couple of hours in the morning and then you are free to roam or work another job too. I worked as a hostel receptionist for a few hours in the mornings for 5 days a week for free accommodation and another was cleaning a hostel for 2 hours. Both of those jobs were easy and I enjoyed my free afternoons on the beach and then worked the evenings at a local bar or restaurant. The sites I used were and Backpackers Board.

beach life goals

Volunteering for charities means you can travel and experience the culture of different countries while really giving something back. Jobs range from teaching children to helping build sustainable housing. Here is an article showing the best volunteer abroad programs for 2018 by Volunteer Forever. What a wonderful way to immerse yourself and find some true culture while helping others.

Save money on traveling by car sharing. Check out car sharing websites or just check local noticeboards or on hostel noticeboards. You will usually find people going the same route who will be happy to share petrol costs or drive you once you pay for petrol. It often works out cheaper than paying for a train or bus or indeed going solo.

If you are taking trains or buses, book them in advance for the best prices as they tend to go up nearer the time. Do sign up for deals or watch out for flash sales as they can save you a lot. Compare prices as always with the different methods of transport and also the different lines. Uber taxis work out cheaper than the standard taxis.

If you happen to be in a group, check for the group discounts everywhere. This can save you a fortune in comparison. Lots of places do group discounts so check online or ask even if it isn’t stated. The more the merrier and the more the cheaper apparently. Hotels and restaurants, trains and buses, if you’re in a group you’re winning.

group travel

There are online Facebook groups that specialize in holidays deals and cheap airfare so join up and see.

Use WhatsApp for ringing home, booking places, texting and sending photos as you will save on mobile charges.

If you’re staying in a hotel, check the price for all-inclusive. Sometimes the all-inclusive option is cheap so even if you don’t plan spending every meal at your hotel, you can cash in on free snacks, drinks, breakfast and alcohol. It all adds up and may pay you to spend the extra. Especially for families.

If you book your flight mid-week or any time other than the weekend it could be cheaper. Keep that in mind when putting in your dates of travel. Tuesdays are supposed to be a good day to book and off-peak times.

Clear the cookies on your computers browser in order to book your flights at the cheapest. Sometimes the flights go up once you click on them too many times from the same IP address. If needs be, use another computer elsewhere to double check the flight price. This has happened to my on a number of occasions so definitely worth watching out for. 

Another tip is not to keep searching for the same flights over and over. It is possible that the airline might register that there is a lot of interest in that flight or flights and put up the price due to demand.

camper van

If you are planning on hiring a camper van to get around, I advise checking the camper van rental sites for drop-off opportunities. These companies will give you a hugely discounted rate for picking up and dropping off the camper vans at specific destinations. You can check the section on their website or ask over the phone. It might just be worth arranging your holiday around. They are usually the prime destinations anyway and the amount you can save is probably worth it. They normally give a week or so to get from A to B so no mad rush or anything.

If you’re planning on hiring a car or camper, work out the cost by price comparison online. If it is going to be expensive, why not look into buying a car or camper? These can go quite cheap when you suss out backpackers or people looking for a quick sale online. Backpackers are usually looking for a quick sale as they tend to be leaving the country so you would be surprised how many cheap cars and campers are available. You can find those advertised on the notice boards at the backpackers or they will often park the vehicle outside with a sale sign on and a number to call. The good point is, you can sell it on before you leave and get some or most of your money back! Probably only useful if you’re staying a few months or more though. Don’t buy something unreliable, choose carefully and have someone who knows a bit about cars look at it. This is a rule of thumb for buying a car anywhere I think! Toyota tend to be extremely reliable. The age and mileage shouldn’t matter too much once the engine is ok. You don’t want to waste your money on a junker!

If you are looking for cheap clothes and items you need then do check out charity shops, recycling centers and markets. You can find some really cool stuff and even designer items if you look around. One mans trash is another mans treasure. No harm in looking and if you find something, then you have saved more money! Bargains are the best. More travel fun money in the bank.

second hand

If you need to travel light, you can buy second hand clothes and then return them to the charity shop when you’re leaving on your trip again. All good for you and all good for charity. Win win.

Last but not least, you could start a travel blog/vlog and document your experiences with photos and helpful information about your destinations. If your blog/vlog becomes successful, you can offer your services as a blogger to hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, resorts and more. Many bloggers who become successful end up getting free accommodation and perks everywhere they go. It is worth mentioning you’re a blogger at least. You might get a nice upgrade or special treatment for writing a nice blog post or review. I have never done this but some day it may come in handy!

So those are my tips on how to travel like a pro and save money. I hope you can maximize on profit after following my tips and enjoy your trip to the fullest! I may have missed a pointer or two so if you have anything to add, please let me know in the comments. Us globetrotters help each other out. Save this for future reference and you will be glad to have it on hand 😉

Off you go, what you waiting for? Start planning that trip like a boss!

Bon Voyage x

Want to discover Europe by train? Check out Eurail who are offering a 15% discount for over 28’s who travel together! Book by Feb 1st 2018 to avail of this deal! Click here and save >> PROMO 

Grab a Lonely planet guide for recommendations on where to go and what to see on your travels. You can compare pricing according to your budget with a guide, with budget, mid price and best places listed! >> BROWSE

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy
    January 12, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Some things to consider.

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